Going Green for Back to School

Going back to school can be a stressful time. With expensive supply lists and hectic schedules, the first thing on most people’s mind is not the environment. There are easy ways to be green and also save some money this coming school year.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

See if any schoolwork can be done paperless, and for items that have to be printed try to print double sided. Check if there are any school supplies from last year that can be reused, and when purchasing more supplies look for items made from recycled content. For textbooks and reading, check if anyone that has taken the class before has old books you can use, or check the library. Many libraries now offer an option to borrow e-books, check with your local library to see what’s available. 

Environmentally Friendly Lunches

When we’re in a rush, it’s easy to throw things in sandwich bags or to rely on individually packaged snacks. Get ready for the packed-lunch season with reusable containers, and consider foods that don’t need to be packaged like apples. You can also buy some things in bulk to save money, and pack them in reusable Tupperware as you need them. Lunch meat is a common lunch staple; consider going meat-free for lunch, or cutting out red meat like beef, to reduce your carbon footprint. You can also take refillable water bottles, rather than plastic ones.

Take the Bus, or Carpool

Try to catch the school bus for the most efficient way to get to school, or consider if biking or walking in is an option. When the bus isn’t an option, see if you can arrange a neighborhood carpool. You can do the same for extracurricular activities to save on gas and time.

Buy Outfits Second Hand

Maybe your kid has outgrown their wardrobe, or some pieces just need replaced. Many “fast fashion” stores run sales for the fall rush, but clothing production has a high environmental cost: “Textile dyeing is the second largest polluter of clean water globally, after agriculture.”  Before you buy consider if the purchase is necessary, and if it is see about buying a second hand or thrifted item instead.

Be Green, Save Green

School can be expensive, especially during the back to school rush. Making the above changes is not only good for the environment, it will save you money too.

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